Notes: Wilson cuts workout short

Notes: Wilson cuts workout short

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rain, a cold wind and injury issues made for a dreary day for the Rangers on Tuesday.

Most notable was left-handed pitcher C.J. Wilson experiencing a shoulder problem that forced him to be scratched from pitching in a Minor League game.

"Frankly, I'm concerned about it but we're going to let the doctor look at it and see if there's anything there," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "I don't know how much was the weather and how much was something else."

Wilson was warming up in the cold, damp conditions and told pitching coach Mark Connor that he couldn't get loose. Connor told him to shut it down.

"We decided not to use him and be on the safe side," Showalter said.

Wilson will undergo further examination on Thursday. He had a hamstring problem earlier this spring and missed all the 2004 season because of Tommy John elbow surgery.

He was expected to win a spot in the Rangers' bullpen as a left-handed reliever but it's unclear how much of a setback this will be for him.

Gary Matthews, who has yet to play in a game because of a strained muscle in the right rib cage area, also had trouble in the cold.

He took one round of batting practice outside and still felt something in the muscle so the Rangers shut him down as well.

With only 10 days left in Arizona, the Rangers now consider the possibility that Matthews could have to start the season on the disabled list.

"It's just when he swings," Showalter said. "Defense, throwing and running, there's no problems. He needs at-bats."

Eaton watch: Adam Eaton, nursing a bruise on his right arm, was able to play catch from 100 feet on Tuesday. He was scheduled to pitch on Friday against the Chicago Cubs but the Rangers won't decide on that until Wednesday.

Eaton was hit by a line drive in last Sunday's start against the Cubs and had to come out after 1 1/3 innings.

He is scheduled to be the Rangers' starter in the second game of the season against the Boston Red Sox. The Rangers feel he can still make that start and they have some flexibility in their Spring Training pitching plans should he be scratched on Friday.

Clemens gets invitation: The Rangers would love Roger Clemens to be their Opening Day starter. They'll settle for him being an Opening Day guest.

Rangers owner Tom Hicks said Tuesday that he has invited Clemens to Opening Day against the Red Sox when the club is planning to honor the University of Texas Longhorns national championship football team.

Clemens is a former Longhorn who pitched for them in the 1983 College World Series. Hicks also went to Texas.

"We've invited him and hopefully he'll decide to participate," Hicks said while visiting Rangers camp. "He could come incognito as a fan or participate in the ceremonies. He expressed interest and said he would talk to his wife."

Hicks said he has not had any contact with Clemens or his representatives since the World Baseball Classic ended.

Texas head coach Mack Brown will throw out the first pitch while being accompanied by coaching legend Darrell Royal.

Hicks went to Texas and his favoritism toward the Longhorns might not make Texas A&M fans happy. But Hicks said they would be accorded the same honor as well.

"Any state of Texas team that wins a national championship in football, we will certainly honor them on Opening Day," Hicks said. "Absolutely."

Hicks on Classic: Hicks remains a strong supporter of the World Baseball Classic even though the United States didn't win and there were some concerns, particularly with the rules on tiebreakers.

"For the first time, there were a lot of mistakes but we'll learn from it," Hicks said. "The net result was surprisingly good."

Hicks did express some concerns about ESPN, particularly the championship game being delayed by an NIT game between Notre Dame and Michigan that went into double overtime.

"They need to get the broadcasting partner down way ahead of time," Hicks said.

Minor work: Pitchers Francisco Cordero and Kameron Loe did their work in Minor League games against Mariners farm teams.

Cordero pitched one inning, walking one and striking out three. Loe went 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits with two walks and a strikeout.

Laynce Nix, coming off shoulder surgery, played the field for the first time this spring without problem and hit a home run. Showalter said they'll talk in the next few days about getting him into an "A" game.

"We'll sit down each day and see how he feels," Showalter said.

Getting Nix back could be even more crucial if Matthews has to start the season on the disabled list.

Briefly: Catcher Rod Barajas had to leave the "A" game against the Angels after two at-bats with some soreness in his knee. It's not considered serious. ... Reliever Akinori Otsuka is expected back with the Rangers after helping Japan win the World Baseball Classic. ... LPGA golfer Candie Kung was in camp as a guest of Hicks. ... Pitcher Ryan Bukvich, coming back from Tommy John surgery, threw batting practice for the first time. ... Mark Teixeira was 0-for-3 in the "A" game and is in an 0-for-23 skid, including the World Baseball Classic. ... The Rangers want to schedule another left-handed-relief simulated game and get Teixeira some at-bats as a right-handed hitter.

Coming up: The competition for the fifth starter spot goes head-to-head this afternoon when Edinson Volquez and Juan Dominguez pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers at Maryvale Baseball Park. Volquez may be poised to steal the job away from Dominguez, who has spent much of the camp trying to get in shape rather than keep for a job.

"The competition, I hope, is the Brewers," Showalter said. "But they're competing for the same job so we're going to see them both in the same environment."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.